VO2 max vs Sweetspot vs Threshold

Benefits of exclusive VO2 max or Sweetspot or Threshold workouts over several weeks.
How does this effect FTP.
( no racing just fun competitive hard rides rolling hills with friends )

I wouldn’t recommend exclusively doing any of them; mix it up a bit. They will all help bump FTP in various ways…vo2 moves your ceiling for capability up, threshold moves the FTP capability to it’s max, and sweet spot can often be used for repeatability near FTP. hope this helps


Thanks a bunch

@brendanhousler what he said is sound advice. From my limited experience on trianerroad i have noticed that threshold is the best way to make the ftp needle up. Vo2 to keep moving it up and prevent stagnation, and sweet spot to help find an effort level you can repeat multiple times in a ride or race that will benefit your endurance as well. If i do anything exclusive its sweet spot so i can maintain what i have worked hard for if i have limited time for riding such as only twice a week or 3 times a week and i am limited on time.

Don’t forget the anaerobic efforts have a lot of value too.

SSB>SustainedPB>Century and you’ll be fairly one dimensional.

Then conversely take the opposite approach with exclusively doing sprint sessions.

@ChrisCycle What you are describing is what is know as block training. There’s a separate thread on VO2max block training if you are interested (link below).

Sweet Spot block training is a very effective way to maintain a high level of general fitness or prepare for B race/event (at the suggestion of @KorbenDallas I did it prior to a recent 40mi/4kft road race I did recently and it served me well).

Threshold and over/under lactate clearing is interesting, but you will accumulate substantially less Time in Zone (TiZ) than sweet spot, so I am not sure if it would be incrementally as effective as SS training or what purpose it would serve on its own.

For a deeper understanding of the value of training in each zone, you may want to read chapter 5 of of the recently released 3rd edition of Allen/Coggan/McGregror’s book, Training and Racing with a Power Meter.


Thank you I’ll check it out. Thanks s lot

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yes block training is very effective, although some blocks recommend 5x vo2max in one week: I’m not knocking that, but I don’t know many athletes that could complete that at hard enough intensity to get the adaptation. Realistically, 2x vo2max, 1x threshold, 1x anaerobic.

Brendan - EVOQ.BIKE

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I can’t speak to the physiology of doing just one type of these exclusively (I would just be repeating stuff I heard from someone else repeating stuff they heard, and who knows where that goes…).

But, there are two instances I switch to an exclusive or nearly-exclusive focus on one type of workout:

  • If I want to burn lots of calories, it’s mostly sweet spot. You can do hours and hours of it and not run yourself into the ground.
  • If I want to get better at something I suck at. This is especially true for VO2max work, which is as much mental as physical. Doing just one of these a week, as per many training plans, isn’t enough for me to extend the duration of the intervals. But I’ve done 2-3 weeks where I do 2-3 of these types of workout per week to allow a more gradual increase in duration, which has resulted in better compliance.